Tips for tourists
Some information for tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh
- A proper visa to enter and stay in lndia is a must. Foreigners who wish to overstay should contact the nearest Foreigners‘ Regional Registration Officer or the Sadar Police Station in the town.
- Foreign, Nationals require Inner Line Permits to visit certain inner area of Kinnaur Distt. and Spiti ofthe Lahaul Spiti Distt. Bordering Tibet. The Permits are issued by SDM, Manali and SDM, Reckong Peo, Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul Spiti at Keylong and Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur at Reckong Peo.
- Protected Area Permit (PAP): According to policies of the Government of India, all foreigners including the foreign NGOs visiting the Tibetan Settlements/Camps should seek prior permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs for visiting such Settlements/Camps in the country. Apply online for PAP on this Ministry of Home Affairs website
- Observe local traditions and customs especially while visiting religious places. Contact your nearest Tourist office or your hotel for guidance.
- Always enter temple, mosque, tomb, dargah or gurudwara without shoes on and properly dressed.
- Stay only in hotel/guesthouses that are registered with the Department of Tourism. A certificate to this effect is prominently displayed by them.
- Take care of proper disposal of your bio degradable/ non degradable waste while you are exploring Himalayas or anywhere else. Dispose all litter carefully. The use of plastic bags is banned in Himachal.
- Stop at Government emporiums. Prices are reasonable and quality assured. Himachal Emporium outlets are located at Bilaspur, Chamba, Dharamshala, Mandi, Kullu, Keylong, Kinnaur, Rekong Peo, Nahan, Solan, Arki and Shimla. Outside the state, these are at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh. You can also buy directly from craftsmen located throughout Himachal. But if you plan to carry them overseas, do take a receipt for Customs.
- For sightseeing and excursions, contact Himachal Tourisml HPTDC Marketing Offices. The HPTDC has its own fleet of coaches.
- Some buildings and monuments require permission for photography and filming. Contact the nearest Tourism office or the concerned District Administration for guidance and assistance.
- Credit cards are accepted at most shops, restaurants and hotel in the main towns. Their use is minimal outside them and all payments are in cash.
- The online reservation of HPTDC hotels and Transport Bookings is also available on its website wherein rooms canbe reserved and payment can be made using creditl debit card on its website hptdc.gov.in
- lf a document is lost immediately contact the nearest Tourism Office or Police Station.
- For medical assistance contact Government hospitals and dispensaries or accredited nursing homes/clinics/hospitals.
- lt is advisable to cover yourself with travel insurance for thefts, loss and medi-claim.
- Before undertaking the adventure activities such as trekking, rafting, paragliding, local authorities such as SDM, Police, Tourist Offices etc. should be informed in advance and permission may be taken in advance wherever required.
- Tourists intended to take adventure activities are advised to hire the services of the travel agents and guides approved by the Department ofTourism, HP Govt. only.
- For electrical appliances, 220 V, 50 Hz is the standard in the state.
- There is excellent coverage of communication network in Himachal. Please keep important numbers of Tourist information Offices/ Police Station with you.
- Important numbers are :-
Emergency Number – 108 Police Station -100 Ambulance – 102
- Don’t stand at the edge of cliff or on the bolder near the bank of riverfor photographs etc. The current of the river in Himachal Pradesh is very strong.
- Don’t leave non – biodegradable litter behind. Polythene is banned in Himachal under Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control)Act of 1995.
- Smoking is not allowed in public places under Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008.
- Don’t eat anything offered by fellow travellers on train or road travels. lt might have sleeping pills.
- Don’t buy articles made from rare or endangered species or animals. Antiques more than 100 years old may not be purchased.
- Don’t disﬁgure or scribble on rocks, trees, building etc.
- Don’t trust strangers, trust your hotel.
- Do not carry any prohibited substance covered under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Source: HPTDC Guidebook